I have a similar history in that I experienced my first attack at the age of 19 (I'm 58 now), I was in the Army and the Army docs had no idea what they were dealing with so they just injected me with Demerol or Morphine to kill the attack. Didn't get diagnosed until roughly 4 years ago.
I have what is referred to here as episodic attacks, usually once a year, lately twice a year. The attacks last about 45-60 days. Thinking back, I may have managed a year with no attacks, but it's hard to remember that far back.
My General Practitioner initially prescribed Sumatriptan in pill form - this "worked" but took almost as long as the attack would last. After a couple years, I finally found a Neurologist and he prescribed Sumatriptan in injectable form. This is the single best treatment I've found to date, though with some side effects (more on that later).
My Neuro also prescribed Verapamil as a prophylactic (preventive) measure. I took it for about a year before giving up on it, since it didn't prevent further attacks and I am already on another medication for hypertension (Atenalol)
I'm currently using the D3 Vitamin regimen discussed at length on many posts here. I can't say if it works yet, since I started it at the end of my last cycle, but I'll keep it up until I feel like its not worth the trouble.
Most everyone here talks about oxygen as an abortive measure. As I write this, I'm going through the process to source all of the components for that treatment. I have a strong belief that it will help, just based on how well I know my own body and all the positive stories here.
Getting oxygen is a pain. I got my GP doc to write me a prescription without much trouble at all (a lot of people here talk about that being one of their biggest challenges), but that's where my challenges began. I took my prescription to a local medical supply, long story short, they refused to fill the prescription. I even offered to self pay, but it was no dice. I'm calling around today and hope that Airgas will help, but if they won't, I found a source on amazon for an industrial tank, prefilled, and I can go to Tractor Supply or the local Farmers Co-op to get it refilled.
I talked about side effects with Sumatriptan - know that this drug is a powerful vasoconstrictor. That's what relieves the pain in the head, but it also gives me a heavy pressure feeling in the chest as it increases blood pressure. Constriction of arterial vessels increases systemic vascular resistance, which leads to an increase in arterial blood pressure. Constriction of venous vessels increases venous blood pressure and increases cardiac preload and cardiac output, which increases arterial pressure. All of this is not really good for an overweight smoker in his late 50s.
I won't give up the Sumatriptan, but I've taken a couple of steps to help.
First, I talked to my Dr. about prescribing a vial instead of the preloaded autoinjectors. Many folks here believe we don't really need a full dose to get relief. So, I'm hopeful this will help. It also means I don't have to hoard as much of the drug during my off cycles so it lasts through the attack season. (Insurance company only allows for about a dozen injectors per filling, so I make sure to buy all year long so I have enough on hand when attack season starts.
Second, as mentioned above, I'm getting oxygen.
Other things that help - everyone is different, your mileage may vary -
Caffeine - energy shots or coffee. These can make things a little more bearable, but its not always helpful since most of my attacks happen at night when I'm trying to sleep or get ready for bed.
Sleeping in an elevated position - I sleep in my easy chair during attack season. Sometimes I can get through the night, sometimes not.
I find a nice long hot shower to be helpful when nothing else is available.
I avoid alcohol during the attack cycle. Any amount can trigger an attack, within 30 minutes of the first drink, like clockwork.
I've talked to a few folks here who share the same experiences as me, high stress is good to prevent the attacks, relaxation brings them on. Strange, but true, at least for me. This leads to my attack cycle being very exhausting. When the cycle ends, I sleep for days just to get caught up.
I hope you find my story helpful and you find relief.